Thursday, December 31, 2020

Muriel Newman: State Control of Vocational Training

In mid-December the Government launched their public consultation on the establishment of Workforce Development Councils - see HERE.  

The proposed changes are a seismic shift that will give the State full control of vocational training.

Industry Training Organisations (ITOs), which since 1994 have been delivering the training industries need, are being abolished and replaced by a centralised government-appointed body.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Melanie Phillips: Yes, it's Brexit

Four days after the trade deal was signed between the UK and the EU, few people, if any, have yet ploughed through the deal’s 1200 or so pages of dense legal text and annexes, and most of us never will.

Maybe in due course some buried horrors will emerge. But at present, it does look as if Boris Johnson really has delivered his country from the grip of the EU and restored its ability to govern itself as an independent country.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Mark Mills: What's Wrong with Wind and Solar?

Have you ever heard of "unobtanium"?

It's the magical energy mineral found on the planet Pandora in the movie, Avatar. It's a fantasy in a science fiction script. But environmentalists think they've found it here on earth in the form of wind and solar power.

They think all the energy we need can be supplied by building enough wind and solar farms; and enough batteries.

The simple truth is that we can't. Nor should we want to—not if our goal is to be good stewards of the planet.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 27.12.20


Tuesday December 29, 2020 

Why te reo road signs make sense

But, at another level, road signs show us where we are and where we're heading as a people and a culture.

So the language of Aotearoa New Zealand's road signs is important — not least because they are also expressions of the exercise of state power in our everyday lives.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Peter Bacos: James Cook and the Discovery of New Zealand

In the 250th anniversary celebrations of Cook’s landing in New Zealand last year the government tried to bracket this with the Maori arrival nearly 800 years before. This is typical of the way the European discovery of NZ is downgraded now by the state and put on a par with the Maori discovery centuries before; it is all part of a state orchestrated campaign to vilify and disparage European culture in this country. 

 There is no comparison between the two, the sophistication of the latter being far greater than the former. The doctoring of history continues by the Maori activists and their Pakeha partisans and the dispute last year about replacing the statue of James Cook on Mt Titirangi at Gisborne was another example of it. Barney Tupara, a representative of Ngati Oenone says that the first meeting between Maori and Pakeha was violent and 9 Maoris were killed. This is another example of the rewriting of history that Maoris are engaged in where their own role is sanitised and that of the European is vilified. 

Michael Bassett: Teaching Early New Zealand History in Schools


The piece in the Herald on 21 December about teaching New Zealand history to all students confirms the fears of serious historians that the project risks becoming mere propaganda by those with axes to grind, rather than a teaching of the facts. 

Students will be given a lop-sided picture of our early history if the curriculum ignores or romanticizes the pre-1840 period where several Maori tribes went on annual marauding exercises to settle old scores. They killed between 40,000 and 50,000 Maori, approximately 25% of the total number of Maori in the country at that time, eating some, and enslaving others. 

Gerrard Eckhoff: Balclutha Debacle

There has never been a Council mayor or chair, born, created, or cloned who would prefer to officially open the valve on a new sewage scheme in preference to opening the freshly polished handle on the front door of a new Council office block. 

The good rural people of Owaka, Stirling, Kaka Point, Lawrence and Tapanui (south and west Otago ) can rightly feel aggrieved that the proposed new community hall in urban Balclutha seems to be a rather large distraction for the Clutha District Councillors.

Fear not, good people of the Clutha District, for you are not alone as a cursory glance at the Dunedin City Councils stewardship of another essential utility – electricity distribution - shows. The debacle over Aurora’s neglect and therefore the DCCs lack of oversight of that network, shows a disturbing trend of inattention towards the less sexy but entirely essential services. 

Guy Steward: Elections

Karl Marx said, “take away a nation’s heritage and they are more easily persuaded”.

That’s us now in New Zealand as we move into 2021, although the taking away and the easy persuasion have been happening for some time. However, the heritage referred to has helped ensure that the way our elections are conducted has remained above board, whether or not the outcome has been to our liking.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

H. Sterling Burnett: No, Weather Channel, 2020 Did Not Bring Unprecedented Climate Disasters


An article published by the Weather Channel tries to link climate change to a variety of environmental “disasters,” that struck around the world in 2020. The article cites limited evidence for any link. In reality, none of the asserted disasters are tied to supposed human-caused climate change.

In the Weather Channel article titled, “2020’s Worst Environmental Disasters, and How Climate Change Played a Role,” the author writes, “In a year of unprecedented disasters, much of the damage done to our planet in 2020 was self-inflicted.” Historical records and data show none of the disasters discussed in the article are, in fact, unprecedented.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 20.12.20


Saturday December 26, 2020 

'Uniquely Maori' garden being built at Auckland reserve

A “uniquely Māori” garden which will pay homage to traditional planting is being built at an Auckland reserve.

Working with Ngāti Whatua Ōrakei, $2 million has been allocated and Small’s design is coming to life at the Pourewa Reserve in Ōrakei.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Tens of millions in China facing winter power blackouts


Mass blackouts after China cuts Australian coal imports

In this newsletter:

1) Tens of millions in China facing winter power blackouts, rationing
AFP, 22 December 2020
2) Mass blackouts after China cuts Australian coal imports
The Times, 17 December 2020

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: Nominations open for 'The World's Greatest Climate Hypocrite' 2020


Last year, we invited GWPF readers to submit nominations for a competition to find the World’s Greatest Climate Hypocrites of 2019.

We decided to recognise a true genius in the field, christening the prizes “the Emmas”, to mark Ms Thompson’s ludicrous devotion to the dark art of shamelessness.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

NZCPR Weekly: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

On behalf of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research I would like to thank you for your wonderful interest and support over the last 12 months – and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Roger Childs: Scott Watson is Innocent

When did a large, two-masted ketch turn into a small, single-masted sloop?  When the Police were framing Scott Watson for abduction and murder.

He has spent the last 20 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. A few weeks ago he went to a Parole Board hearing at Rolleston and was told that he would have one more year behind bars. His case is a huge black mark against the New Zealand Police and one of the worst miscarriages of justice in our history. 

The disappearance of Olivia Hope and Ben Smart in the Marlborough Sounds was the big news story of 1998. Now 22 years later the case against Scott Watson is going back to the Court of Appeal.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 13.12.20

Saturday December 19, 2020 

If land is taken, then it must be returned.
“Aotearoa is Māori land. All of it is Māori land, and there are pockets of Māori land that must be protected.” 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Fletcher must front up over Ihumātao deal


I think we need to bring Fletcher into this covers nation about Ihumātao.

Despite their role in this, they’ve been near invisible in it, and I don’t think they should be.

Most of the public anger has quite rightly been directed at the government over this deal 

They’ve wasted $30 million of taxpayer money on something the Prime Minister should never have involved herself in.

They’ve potentially undermined private property rights by essentially forcing a land sale through their involvement.

But what about Fletcher? What’s their role in this?

GWPF Newsletter: China to expand coal power by 10% by 2025


China promises its primary energy use will peak in 2035

In this newsletter:

1) China to expand coal power fleet by 10% by 2025
Bloomberg, 16 December 2020

2) China's primary energy use to peak in 2035 ... promise
Reuters, 17 December 2020

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Reynold Macpherson: Rotorua's Warped Economic Development Strategy

This opinion piece is offered to see if other district and regional councils are responding to the Covid Depression with economic development strategies that are unbalanced, divisive and misappropriating ratepayers’ resources. 

Rotorua Lakes Council’s framework is shown to be based on a fake collectivism, Te Arawa’s Vision 2050 replacing its obsolete Vision 2030, a simplistic dualism of short-term ‘economic recovery’ and long-term ‘economic development’ instead of pragmatic ‘economic reconstruction’, the Mayor’s co-governance agenda, a false virtue of ‘partnerships’ when they range from worthy intergovernmental projects to crony capitalism, unfulfilled political promises dating from 2013, deliberately marginalising ratepayers, and practices that violate the Auditor General’s eight elements of good governance.

Michael Rectenwald: What Is the Great Reset?

The Great Reset is on everyone’s mind, whether everyone knows it or not. It is presaged by the measures undertaken by states across the world in response to the covid-19 crisis. (I mean by “crisis” not the so-called pandemic itself, but the responses to a novel virus called SARS-2 and the impact of the responses on social and economic conditions.)

In his book, COVID-19: The Great Reset, World Economic Forum (WEF) founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab writes that the covid-19 crisis should be regarded as an “opportunity [that can be] seized to make the kind of institutional changes and policy choices that will put economies on the path toward a fairer, greener future.”1 Although Schwab has been promoting the Great Reset for years, the covid crisis has provided a pretext for finally enacting it. According to Schwab, we should not expect the postcovid world system to return to its previous modes of operation. Rather, alternating between description and prescription, Schwab suggests that changes will be, or should be, enacted across interlocking, interdependent domains to produce a new normal.

So, just what is the Great Reset and what is the new normal it would establish?

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Trevor Mallard has made things worse


If Trevor Mallard was hoping that appearing before the select committee today was going to make things better for himself, he misjudged that horribly. 

He has just made things a whole lot worse.

It turns out $330,000 is not the end of the Mallard clean-up bill us taxpayers are paying. We are in the gun for more. 

GWPF Newsletter: EU countries agree to use natural gas and nuclear power for Green Deal


How the EU opened the door to natural gas and nuclear energy to coax Green Deal sceptics

In this newsletter:

1) EU countries agree to use natural gas and nuclear power for Green Deal
EurActiv, 15 December 2020

2) EU’s Green Deal based on natural gas as ‘transitional energy’
EurActiv, 14 December 2020

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Roger Childs: A Royal Commission should investigate the White Island tragedy

It’s now a year on from the disaster which killed 22 people in the Bay of Plenty, mainly Australians. The governor-general, prime minister and other dignitaries were there for the recent anniversary and took the usual photo opportunities. There was a lot of grief and sorrow, but I didn’t hear White Island Tours giving an apology.

 Last year’s catastrophe was an accident waiting to happen and it appears that because of the blasé attitude and greed of the tour company, lives were lost. Most people would have expected a Royal Commission to investigate the tragedy as happened with the Pike River Mine disaster and the shootings at the Christchurch mosques. Instead the government workplace regulator WorkSafe carried out an inquiry and last week decided to prosecute – 10 organisations and 5 individuals – seemingly anyone who had anything to do with the tragic events in the Bay of Plenty in December 2019. However Work Safe did not include themselves!

This scattergun approach to assigning culpability may have been intended to soften the blow for the chief culprits: the Ngati Awa tour operators.

Clive Bibby: Apologies are not the same as a meaningful response

The crocodile tears are becoming a flood.

Politicians around the world are notorious for apportioning blame after the publication of damning reports that highlight failures of leadership under their watch as long as the number of those who might lose their jobs doesn't include themselves.

Even our own country has a shameful record of senior ministers being slapped on the wrist before, after the mandatory stand down, being readmitted to the cabinet clique on full pay. "Welcome back! Have a good break?"

NZCPR Weekly: The Big Lie

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we expose the claim of a Treaty of Waitangi ‘partnership’ between Maori and the Crown as a big lie that is being legitimised through an orchestrated propaganda campaign, our NZCPR Guest Commentator the former Judge and law lecturer Anthony Willy explains why there is no legal foundation for the partnership claim and he outlines what New Zealand could look like under a Maori ‘partnership’ model, and our poll asks whether you believe New Zealanders are too complacent about the Treaty partnership agenda.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Barry Soper: Trevor Mallard should resign for his disgraceful behaviour


Trevor Mallard should resign from The Speaker's job before he faces a vote of no confidence when Parliament resumes sitting in February.

National's lost confidence in him and Labour, the party that preaches well-being and kindness, surely will have no choice but to vote against his continuing in the role.

It's been confirmed that the almost $334,000 in legal costs have been paid out by the taxpayer. Why?   Well Mallard had the rules changed after he made his outrageous comment to protect him from having the pay the bill for something he clearly knew would go against him.

Breaking Views Update: Week of 6.12.20


Friday December 11, 2020 

Prime Minister confident at launch of new Whānau-centred young parents scheme, saying 'they've shown they work'

Ardern, who was joined by Minister of Health Andrew Little and Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall, officially launched the programme at the Tūnohopū Marae in Rotorua on Thursday.

It’s a scheme that was roundly welcomed by representatives of the Te Arawa iwi in attendance, with Te Arawa and Ngati Whakaue kaumatua Monty Morrison describing the scheme as an “important announcement today for all Māoridom”.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Nothing gained for blaming older generations for modern problems


It’s become fashionable to talk about an intergenerational divide, but I’m not sure I totally buy this argument.  

The latest installment of this argument came yesterday from the ANZ economic report which  argued that the wealth gap between the young and old is growing .

That’s because of three things: 

  • The price of houses 
  • Rising unemployment mainly borne by the young 
  • The growing cost of pensions because of an ageing population 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Heather du Plessis-Allan: We've reached the end of a crazy political year


Today we are bringing you this show from Parliament.

It’s the last sitting day of Parliament before the House wraps up for the year.

Which means it’s not a bad time to reflect back on the political year, and what to expect next year.

Looking back now, it feels like there are two parts to the last year, even to the last term of government: before Covid and after Covid.

Nothing from before Covid really counts any more, does it?

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Bob Edlin: An apology from the Crown but not from the Maori Party

In a political week distinguished by Stuff’s apology to Maoridom, the Crown was in the business of apologising to Maori, too, while the Maori Party pressed for even more apologies.

One Maori party co-leader – in his maiden speech to Parliament – pledged to be an unapologetic Maori voice while the other railed against early New Zealand governments as “monsters, murderers and rapists” and projected herself as a survivor of a “holocaust”.

A “holocaust”?

That same powerful word was bandied by the party’s founder, Dame Tariana Turia, some 20 years ago.  She later apologised for using it to describe the experience of Maori. 

GWPF Newsletter: UK Government sets up secret ‘green nudge unit’


Shrinks seek to make Britons accept radical Net Zero restrictions

In this newsletter:

1) UK Government sets up secret ‘green nudge unit’ to make Britons accepts radical Net Zero restrictions
The Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2020
2) Green Deal unlikely without breakthrough on EU budget, envoy says
Reuters, 6 December 2020

Karl du Fresne: Stuff's racist history

Most readers of this blog will be aware of Stuff's front-page apology to Maori on Monday for supposedly racist reporting dating back generations, and of the series of subsequent articles setting out the many ways in which the newspaper titles now owned by Stuff have supposedly perpetuated negative racist stereotypes.

This was my response in a letter published in The Dominion Post this morning:

Monday, December 7, 2020

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Is postal voting compatible with the democratic ideal of the secret ballot?

Election time in early to mid-Victorian England used to be a barrel of fun – quite literally, as candidates plied their potential constituents with liquor to gain their favour.

Deals were struck (usually accompanied by the tinkle of gold) with local personages who would see to it that the favour would be returned by all members of that constituency under their influence (bearing in mind that numbers of electors were much smaller in the days when only men who owned property could vote).

Christopher Monckton: Lancing the Lancet’s global-warming pustule


The Lancet, once a respected medico-scientific journal and now just another me-too mouthpiece for theusual suspectsran an editorial this week on climate change – on which subject it has neither expertise nor a missio canonica to pronounce. Here is a letter to the editor in response:

Sir, – Your notion of a “climate crisis” (editorial, December 2), though fashionable among the classe politique, is misplaced. That notion sprang from an elementary error of physics perpetrated in the 1980s by climate scientists who had borrowed feedback formulism from control theory, another branch of physics, without quite understanding it. Interdisciplinary compartmentalization delayed its identification until now.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Clive Bibby: Pushing Shit Uphill!

I turned 76 last week.

I brought my young family to live here in Uawa / Tolaga Bay 40 years ago last June.

At the time, l had this unquenchable thirst to have a go farming on my own account before the opportunity would pass me by.  Although, on balance, it was a decision l don’t regret, in retrospect the hardship encountered during those years is something we could have done without.

Viv Forbes: Real Meat is Green

Wandering recently through an arcade popular with the green smoothie set, I saw a sign boasting: “Plant Based Meat”.

Someone should advise those nutritional dunderheads that all real meat is plant-based. Real beef and lamb are built from live plants like grasses, lucerne and mulga, plus salt, minerals and clay; the best chicken is built mostly on seeds and shoots of wheat, corn and grasses plus a few worms, insects and gizzard-grit; and when I was a kid our bacon was built by porkers from pollard, whey and vegetable scraps.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

NZCPR Weekly: Resetting Politics and the Media

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter, we outline the danger to New Zealand posed by the Prime Minister’s global socialist ambitions and the media’s engagement in politics, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Australian journalist Gideon Rozner shares his concerns about New Zealand’s leadership and future, and our poll asks whether you believe Stuff did the right thing in apologising to Maori.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

GWPF Newsletter: Green Deal in doubt as EU's existential crisis deepens


EU leaders poised for clash over climate targets

In this newsletter:

1) Green Deal in doubt as EU's existential crisis deepens
Associated Press, 4 December 2020
2) EU leaders poised for clash over climate targets
Bloomberg, 3 November 2020

Friday, December 4, 2020

Breaking Views Update: Week of 29.11.20

Friday December 4, 2020 

Māori wards petition delivered to Parliament: 'Not a case of if, but when'
A petition has been delivered to MPs urging them to get rid of legislation that enables referenda on Māori wards.

ActionStation collected more than 10,000 signatures calling for Parliament to make the process of establishing Māori wards for district and regional councils the same as the process for establishing general wards.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Democracy Northland: The Ad Stuff Refused to Publish


Two Stuff publications, the Whangarei Leader and the Bay Chronicle have refused to publish an advertisement from Democracy Northland.

Roger Childs: Does the Country Need a Maori Party?

About 17% of the population calls itself Maori, but only 1.2% gave their vote to the Maori Party in this year’s election. This resulted in the Party getting two seats in the new parliament, but with more than 30 MPs having some Maori blood, does the ethnic group need a separate party to promote its interests?

Successive governments have been incredibly generous to those who call themselves Maori, for example more than 90 pieces of legislation make special mention of Maori culture and interests. Any financial announcements by the government invariably include an allocation for the tangata whenua. Before the start of lockdown in March $56 million was set aside for the group and the subsequent budget allocated $900 million to help Maori cope with Covid-19.

GWPF Newsletter: The Pacific islands which are growing, despite sea level rise


Study reveals 90% of global atolls are stable or growing

In this newsletter:

1) The Pacific islands which are growing, despite sea level rise
Stuff Science, 2 December 2020
2) Reminder: Study reveals 90% of global atolls are stable or growing
GWPF & WIREs Climate Change, 19 October 2018

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood: Politically Correct Speaking

Wokeish is not my mother tongue, but I feel I can usually speak and write it fluently because it is all the opposition parties in the Commons speak all the time. It is prevalent on the BBC and mainstream media, so news is dominated by its tropes and preoccupations.

It is stifling much debate and creating a divide with the informal conversations of some parts of the social media and of life when permitted in many clubs, bars and homes. 

Karl du Fresne: WorkSafe lets itself off the hook

It intrigues me that WorkSafe has apparently let itself off the hook with its decision to prosecute those it holds responsible for the Whakaari-White Island tragedy.

Surely WorkSafe, as the government’s workplace safety regulator, must bear some responsibility for the accident? It must have known tourists were visiting an active volcano. I mean, it was hardly a secret. So why is it prosecuting GNS Science and Civil Defence, among others, while ignoring its own apparent culpability?

GWPF Newsletter: Will Trump send the Paris Agreement to the US Senate?


EU faces existential threat over conflict with Poland and Hungary

In this newsletter:

1) Will Trump send the Paris Agreement to the US Senate?
Benny Peiser, GWPF, 30 November 2020
2) 'Not a developing economy': Biden pressed to maintain Trump's pressure on China
Guy Taylor, The Washington Times, 29 November 2020

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Mike Hosking: It's a crime the government will let so much produce rot


What a deflating experience it was Friday reading watching listening to all those in the horticulture industry responding to the government’s 2,000 Recognised Seasonal worker decision.

The manipulation I would like to think hasn’t passed most of us by.

The shabby and shoddy way these farmers are being treated is really an outrage dressed up as a solution.

They all said basically what they had to say when you’re dealing with the government and afraid to say what you really think for fear of your livelihood being stuffed completely.

Kate Hawkesby: Will calls for another cannabis referendum be taken seriously?


God bless the 20 year old Young Greens activist who wants a citizen initiated referendum on the decriminalisation of cannabis.

All he’s doing is highlighting how the government got this wrong first time round.

How much the pro lobby shot itself in the foot with its attempts to legalise? Mixed messaging, confusing misleading statements about medicinal, the advantage it would give big business, the smattering of weed shops around the country. It over shot the mark, went too far, and it didn’t convince enough New Zealanders to make it a reality.

It should've focused on decriminalisation not legalisation in the first place. It should have kept the messaging simple. But that’s all history now. The fact is, they lost.